A Way Of Life Without Religion – Demystifying Chinmayananda

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Hindus who know of Balakrishna Menon refer to him as Swami Chinmayananda. This ‘holy man’ was the inspiration behind the Chinmaya Mission, a group that promotes the spiritual teachings of Chinmayananda. The Mission is run by a trust, and has over 300 centers around the world. The official objectives of the Mission are to:

To provide to individuals, from any background, the wisdom of Vedanta and practical means for spiritual growth and happiness, enabling them to become a positive contributor to the society.”

Long before Ramdev and Sri2 came onto the scene, Chinmayananda was preaching the “spiritual art of living”. His Mission continues to condition hundreds of thousands of children into subscribing to a bunch of stone-age ideas. In this article posted on Nirmukta, Ranganath R. describes, through an encounter he had with  one of these Chinmaya ‘spiritualists’, how they go about promoting their superstitions.

The video is self-explanatory. I do not put on much of a confrontational tone, avoiding discussion on the major injustices caused by religion, in order to focus on the reasons for why indeed we can have a fulfilling and moral way of life without religion.

About the author

Ajita Kamal


  • Nice work.. I have been waiting for someone to demystify and spread out the word about the flawed ideas that people have about Hinduism and the godmen.

    P.S. I was once a student of a chinmaya mission school..

    • Oh, dude..I’m sorry 🙂 Just kidding, I had a few friends who went to Chinmaya mission schools as well. How was your experience there?

      • Sorry about the late reply..
        Ah, The experience.. I really can’t stop laughing at myself when I even think how deluded nut I was back then.. We have Bhajans every Friday morning.. We sing Spiritual songs praising the lords who require applause from the inferior humans.. How stupid..!!

  • Nice video.

    In my view, Hinduism is not “a” way of life in the sense that it is a mosaic of a very large number of ways of life. Shaivas have one way of life, Vaishnavas have another way of life, Shaktas have yet another way of life, and so on. And, if we divide by caste and sub-caste affiliations as well, we get an even larger number of ways of life.

    This is a incident related to this view of the “way of life” concept. Last month we went to Ooty for a vacation. Upon seeing the model of a Toda hut and learning more about the Toda tribe, my 8 year old daughter asked me, “appa, what tribe do I belong to”? I almost blurted out, “what, us? we are not tribal people!!!” but held my tongue at the last moment because I remembered a recent incident. There had been a minor disagreement between a relative of mine and her in-laws (who belong to a different sub-caste within the same caste) on how a particular ritual ceremony was to be performed. I had commented to my wife that this was an unnecessary argument about primitive rituals that can be entirely done away with. Therefore, the answer I gave my daughter was, “we belong to xxx tribe which also has its own primitive rituals that are different from those of the yyy tribe that your aunt has married into”.

    This idea of equating each sub-caste and specific religious affiliation with a (primitive) tribe is not mine. Many years ago, a professor uncle of mine on a visit to a conference in Italy was cornered by his European colleagues who wanted to understand the caste system. He wiggled out of the situation by saying that the system was like there being different tribes of people, just like you have in Africa!!!

    Sorry for the long narrative like Ramayan, but unlike Ramayan, this is based on facts and not imagination 🙂


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